An abdominoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure often called a tummy tuck. The surgery removes excess skin and fat to help flatten the tummy in addition to tightening the muscle. The best candidates for this procedure are at a stable weight, in good physical condition and do not smoke. Most people interested in this surgery have loose skin or pockets of fat they were unable to get rid of by eating healthy and regular exercise. This procedure is also appropriate for women with stretched muscles and skin resulting from pregnancy and slightly obese individuals with a loss of skin elasticity. This procedure should be delayed for individuals who will be losing a lot of weight and women who intend to have children. This surgery is most commonly performed after bariatric surgery or pregnancy.
Many individuals reach a point in their lives when all the exercising and dieting in the world is not making any difference at all. Unfortunately, the result is often a protruding and sagging stomach. There are a lot of good reasons people decide to have this procedure. This includes:
• Pregnancy, surgery, hereditary or age have resulted in excess abdominal skin
• Women who have had their last child and desire a flatter stomach
• Flab, excess skin or stretch marks of the abdomen not responding to diet and exercise
• An extreme decrease of self-confidence due to the contour of the abdomen
• A protruding and unattractive abdomen
• There is a weakness in the abdominal muscles
• A stomach impacted by a massive loss of weight or pregnancy
• Slender individuals at a stable weight with loose skin and excess fat in the abdomen
Smokers are required to quit a number of weeks prior to the procedure. This is because smoking increases the risk for serious complications and slows the healing process. This surgery is not appropriate for obese individuals. If the person has a lot of intra-abdominal fat around their internal organs, they will need to lose some weight prior to having this procedure. If the individual has had abdominal surgery in the past resulting in scars, they may or may not be a candidate for the tuck. The individual must not be planning to have more children. This is because the procedure repairs the muscles. These muscles can become separated again during pregnancy. The best candidate is physically healthy and in good shape.
If your expectations are realistic, your attitude positive and your general health good, this procedure is most likely appropriate. You will be given anesthesia for the tummy tuck so you will not feel any pain. The surgeon will create two different openings. The first will run along the hip bone near the pubic region. The second incision is made around the naval. The abdominal muscles and skin will be separated. This enables the surgeon to pull the muscles together and stitch them into the correct position.
When the muscles are together, the result is a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The flap of skin that was separated is then stretched over the muscles before the extra skin is removed. The navel will be reattached into a more natural looking position. Once the incisions have been closed, a sterile dressing is placed over the incisions. The surgery usually requires between two to five hours to complete. The results of the procedure are noticeable immediately including a more toned and flatter abdomen. It is important to note the individual needs to maintain their weight, engage in a regular exercise routine and consume a healthy and balanced diet to maintain the results for a long period of time.
The Individual Steps of a Tummy Tuck
There are specific steps the surgeon will follow for the procedure. All of these steps are outlined below.
Step 1: The abdomen is marked by the surgeon where the openings will be placed. This includes the area where the naval will be repositioned and the middle of the torso.
Step 2: Anesthetic is administered to ensure the patients’ comfort throughout the procedure.
Step 3: The main opening for the tuck is made just above the pubic area. This opening stretches along the hip bone. A second opening is made around the navel.
Step 4: The skin is loosened from the wall of the abdomen to the ribcage. Sutures are then placed by the surgeon to pull the abdominal muscles until their position becomes tighter. This is when the muscles are repaired.
Step 5: After the suturing of the abdominal muscles, the excess fat is removed by the surgeon using one of several different options such as liposuction.
Step 6: The skin of the abdomen is stretched down until it covers the opening line. Excess skin is then removed.
Step 7: The skin surrounding the navel is moved. In most cases, the navel is able to remain in the same position.
Step 8: The openings are sealed and the procedure completed.
In most instances, drains are placed to prevent fluids from building up and placing pressure on any of the openings. A drain is simply a plastic tube placed under the main opening leading to a small bulb. The bulb is easy to empty. Squeezing the bulb helps speed healing along. Everything begins when you have a consultation with a plastic surgeon. The surgeon will make you comfortable, explain the procedure, and offer you different options or approaches. This surgery is usually performed when the abdomen has been impacted by obesity, genetic laxity, or pregnancy. This procedure provides the individual with a flatter, firmer, and more toned abdomen.
During your consultation with the surgeon, you will talk about your aesthetic goals. You will be evaluated as a candidate for the tummy tuck. The surgeon will offer you options depending on what will work best for you circumstances. Once the surgeon understands your goals, they can offer the best possible options. It is important to bring your full medical history to your consultation. You should also be prepared to answer questions such as:
• If you have any drug allergies or are receiving treatment for medical conditions
• Your history regarding cosmetic procedures
• The medications, herbal supplements and vitamins you are currently taking
• Your motivation for having the surgery
• If you have had any surgeries in the past
• What you expect to gain from the tuck
• If you use recreational drugs, tobacco, or alcohol
The surgeon may show you a mirror and ask you to show them exactly where you want to see improvements. Photographs will be taken to place in your medical records. Computer imaging will be used to show you the expected outcome of the procedure. You should also expect:
• Your health status to be evaluated including any pre-existing conditions
• A discussion regarding your current and ideal weight
• Any plans to have another child
• An evaluation of your skin elasticity
• A program for weight loss may be recommended prior to the surgery
The surgeon will offer recommendations based on your physical characteristics and your specific goals. The surgeon will use their experience and training to ensure they are offering you the right options. The surgeon will then share the following details:
• The expected outcome of your procedure
• The anesthesia options
• The expected experience of the surgery including the details
• The approach for your surgery such as the procedure or multiple procedures
• The surgery location
• The cost of the procedure
• Photos of before and after pictures of similar cases
• The preparation necessary for surgery
The Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
The best benefit of this procedure is the ability to have a flat abdomen. This is one of the most desirable and sought after of all the physical attributes. This is because a flat abdomen is synonymous with both health and fitness. Unfortunately, following a spectacular exercise routine and a phenomenal diet program will not necessarily get rid of stubborn fat. The abdominal muscles can be loosened by pregnancy resulting in a distended abdomen. This makes it extremely difficult if not impossible to achieve the desired six-pack. The solution for tight abdominal muscles and a flat stomach is a tummy tuck. The results from the procedure last for many years, providing you with a lot of enjoyment.
The procedure is similar to liposuction in the sense both remove excess fat. The biggest difference between the two is the tuck can address excess and loose skin. Liposuction is a versatile procedure. This being said, the main goal is for fat reduction alone. To be a good candidate for liposuction, you must have good skin elasticity. If you have stomach fat, chances are good you have learned that this is the hardest fat to get rid of. It does not matter if the cause of the fat was pregnancy, aging, genetics or hormonal changes. Exercise and diet will not always remove the fat and tighten the abdomen. This is the reason this procedure has become so popular. In addition to the surgery removing the excess skin and fat, the final result is a much flatter abdomen.
Even though the procedure will leave a scar, it is located between your hip bones in the pubic area. This makes the scar extremely easy to hide with nothing more than a pair of underwear. It is important to note the loose skin under the navel is excised. This means the procedure may actually get rid of unwanted stretch marks so often resulting from pregnancy and giving birth. Stretch marks occur when your skin is stretched to the point the growth and elasticity of your skin becomes overwhelmed. This results in tears, eventually becoming actual lines in your skin. You can spend a lot of money purchasing lotions and creams claiming to eliminate stretch marks. The problem is the majority do not work. Those that do make a minimal difference at best.
Get In Touch with Us for More Information
The best possible treatment for stretch marks is a tuck. If you are interested in a tummy tuck, please feel free to make an appointment with Palms Wellington Plastic Surgery. At our convenient location in Wellington, FL, our caring and dedicated team of professionals will be pleased to explain this option to you in full and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!